We believe that caving should be fun. However for us all to enjoy caving properly, it also has to be safe. Caving can be a dangerous sport with insufficient training, and press reports of accidents are not favourable.
Thankfully, YUCPC has never had any serious caving accidents, and we don't intend to start now! To help ensure this (and to make sure you know what you're doing underground so you enjoy your trip more), we arrange weekly training sessions during term time, in the relative safety and warmth of the University Sports Centre.
Tuesday & Tursday evenings 8:00pm - 10:00pm
Large Hall of the University Sports Centre on Campus West (far end, usually behind volleyball, where the ropes can be seen hanging from the ceiling – come and say hello!)
During our weekly training sessions, we'll show you how to use all the equipment necessary to allow us to get safely to the bottom of many of the caves and potholes, including ladders and Single Rope Technique (SRT), as well as introducing you to all the other gear that we wear and carry. Don't worry if you don't own any equipment, we have all the gear you need available for you to borrow to get you started through your first year with us, and so you don't need to buy anything immediately.
The Sports Centre provides an ideal training location - it's well lit, warm and on campus! We have all sorts of people joining the society each year, from complete beginners to people with some experience. So don't be worried if you've never donned a harness before, and if you think a jammer sounds like some strange torture device, we can show you how to use it all. We aim to have you off the ground on your first training session, and with regular attendance, many people become competent within their first term! (Please note that the first few training sessions of the academic year are always very busy so please bear with us and be assured that it does quieten down as term progresses).
We require all members to attend at least one training session before allowing anyone to undertake ropework (SRT) underground (although your first trip is likely to be a basic cave requiring no ropework). During your first session, we'll explain a few basic essential techniques to ensure you enjoy your first trip safely. Once you know the basics, we'll show you some of the more advanced techniques and you get the chance to play around on all of our fixed training equipment, learn how to pass all manor of obstacles while hanging on a rope, how to traverse, and eventually how to rig the ropes, perform rescues, and lead trips.
YUCPC has policies in place to ensure the safety of its members; some of these are available on-line. We also implement regular safety checks on equipment and rope as well as constantly investing in new equipment (this is partly covered through funding from the SU safety officer). Don't forget that your first trip is completely free when you join us, yearly membership is cheap, you can borrow our gear for free, and trips fees are barely enough to cover the petrol, making caving an economical as well as thoroughly satisfying day out!